Spanish-English translators, Interpreters and bilingual guides.
All our translators have been published worldwide.
Let us serve you via email, direct from Mexico.
Excelentes traducciones Español-Inglés,
Inglés-Español. Todos nuestros traductores tienen obras ya publicadas
en diversos países. Permítanos servirle vía Internet desde Guadalajara,
UPDATED August 21, 2013
We are located in Guadalajara,
Mexico and we specialize exclusively in Spanish and English. Unlike
many competitors, our team has highly educated native speakers of both
languages double-checking our work. If you'd like to know what happens
when less stringent standards prevail, please take a look at The Creative World of Spanish Subtitles below.
WHO ARE WE?
The Guadalajara Consortium is managed by John
Pint, translator of the Lucky Luke albums (Dargaud, France), Robert Nelson,
translator of The Teachings of Don Carlos
(Bear & Co.) and Susana Ibarra
de Pint, translator of Applied Reflectance Spectroscopy (Spectral
International), operating out of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city. John
and Susy Pint are also the authors of
Outdoors in Western
Mexico (Quadrimag, 2011) and
Rutas y Destinos de Fin
de Semana Cerca de Guadalajara (Casa San Matias, 2010).
The newest member of our team is Gina Yoryet Román,
who was brought up in California and has lived in Guadalajara for eight
years. Gina is a Translator/Interpreter, Journalist, and teacher
of EFL,TOEFL IBT/PBT, TOEIC, ACT, SSAT, LSAT, GRE, Cambridge, IELTS,
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you need a bilingual guide or an
interpreter to help you get around and communicate in Guadalajara or western
Mexico, just send us an email or give us a call (see below).
If you need a translation, just send us a sample of the text you want
translated (see addresses below) and we will let you
know whether the subject matter is within our sphere of competence. If so,
we will give you an estimate of the cost for translating it. We also do
editing or correcting of already translated documents. You can pay us for
our work via Paypal or our U.S. banks.
For more information, contact us. You can use:
- The Guadalajara Consortium,
Ceibas 172, Pinar de la Venta,
CP 45221, Zapopan, Jalisco, MEXICO
HOW BAD CAN PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATORS GET
~~~ ¡AY AY AY! ~~~
If film makers only knew what their movies say
once they cross the border...
©2006, 2013, John J. Pint
All rights reserved
I live in Mexico and
often rent videos. Most of these have the original sound track in English, with
Spanish subtitles. As my Spanish has been improving over the years, I've
discovered that sometimes the subtitles are more entertaining than the film.
here's a line from Body Chemistry II : "I dreamed I was in bed with
you." That's what was spoken from the screen, but what countless Spanish
speakers saw in the subtitle was "Soñé que estaba en Beverly Hills," which
means "I dreamed I was in Beverly Hills." To say the least, something got
lost in the translation.
subtitles like this one are typical of what non-English speakers
occasionally encounter while viewing most of the films that come their way.
But how do translators make such enormous blunders in the first place?
A glance at a few
similar mistranslations may shed light on this question. In the movie
Sliver, "Carly, you're wrong!" comes out "Carly, Don't run!" In
Missing, "a scuba-diving course" became "a course on Cuba" and in
Princes in Exile, "We started out butting heads" is turned into: "We
started out with butterheads."
examples suggest, first, that the translator's knowledge of English isn't
exactly top-notch and, second, that the translator does not have access to a
written script and is entirely depending on his or her ear. This might help
us understand why “He’s a bachelor” was heard as “He’s an amateur” by the
translator of House of the Spirits, but how a simple phrase like
"Come on over!" could be bizarrely transmogrified into "Come, Elver!" (in
the film Stranded) is more difficult to explain.
the translator gets the English right, word for word, but can't make heads
or tails out of it. The expression may be a technical, historical or
religious allusion or just "teen talk" and unlikely to be found in the
dictionary. In an episode of Smallville, for example, Clark tells
Lana, “I’m going to buy you a looking glass,” but the translator has a very
hazy idea of what this is and our hero ends up promising to buy the girl “a
magnifying glass” instead. In the film Don Juan de Marcos, the
translator misses the religious connotations in "It was like the Garden
after the Fall" and turns it into "the garden after the autumn." In White
Wolves, a hungry hiker opens her knapsack, digs inside and says, "Who
took my Power Bars?" The translator, obviously not a big candy bar fan,
valiantly tries to make sense out of this cryptic question and has the girl
say, "Who took my emergency lights?" Unfortunately, those Power Bars come
back into the story several times and eventually get eaten up, leaving much
of the Spanish speaking world wondering when those wonderful edible
flashlights will appear at the hardware stores in their country.
The Queen of
attempts to turn a cryptic expression into words that somehow relate to the
film are rare indeed. Most of the time, the so-called translation is
conjured up the way Dagwood sandwiches are made, by anxiously grabbing
whatever comes to hand first. For example, the trailer for Born to be
Wild says the upcoming film will be brought to us by "Warner Brothers
Spanley Entertainment." Warner probably has no idea their film was
translated by someone who couldn't recognize the word "Family," but at least
they can be proud they got a translator with a really wild imagination.
Perhaps it was this same creative soul who turned the epic film Alexander
into a surreal comedy. Throughout the movie Heracles is referred to as
Hercules, Thebes is translated as “thieves” and The Queen of a Thousand
Roses is turned into “The Queen of 1000 Trousers.”
sorry for the readers of these Spanish subtitles, consider what you
might have been reading the last time you watched a foreign flick. Wim
Wenders' Far Away, So Close contains dialogue in German, French,
Italian and English. Every time the German came up, I was entirely at the
mercy of the subtitles. When English was spoken, however, I had a chance to
judge the translator's abilities. A woman walks up to a guitarist who had
performed in public a bit earlier in the film and tells him, "I saw your
foreign-film dialogue is expected to sound a bit odd, but it would be nice
if it had something to do with the plot.
Shields down and
Next, we come to
the high point of creativity in subtitling. Bored with simply replacing
English with Spanish, the translator tries his or her hand at scriptwriting
and attempts to improve the movie. For example, in The Witches of Salem,
a truly pitiless judge condemns the accused to jail and stipulates an
utterly wretched daily diet of “three drops of water and three morsels of
bread…that’s all.” However, the milk of human kindness obviously flows
through the translator’s veins and the subtitles announce that the prisoner
is going to receive nothing less than “three jars of water and three loaves
of bread” per day.
Of course, if
there’s a high point, there must also be a low point and that’s when the
translator doesn't just get it wrong, but manages to come up with the exact
opposite of what was said. Such a scenario occurs in Loving Lulu
when the question is asked, "Would you like to share this with me?" In
English, the answer is an enthusiastic, "You're on!" The translator,
however, apparently had never come across such an obscure expression and
turned it into "(Olvídalo!"
in Spanish, which means, "Forget it!"
When it comes to
getting things dead wrong, though, no one could outdo the translator of a
better-forgotten sci-fi flop called Dead Space, in which the ship's
robot announces "Defense shields are up!" while the subtitle reads "Defense
shields are down!"
What could film
producers do to ensure that their painstakingly crafted masterpieces remain
somewhat intelligible to millions of moviegoers around the world? They might
insist that translation agencies start practicing quality control and
undergo frequent spot checks by independent sources. They might also insist
that subtitle translators work in bilingual pairs, one member being a native
speaker of Spanish educated in a Spanish-speaking country and the other an
English speaker educated in an English-speaking country. My wife and I fall
into these categories and we've discovered that working together really pays
off. Besides, four eyes spot far more mistakes than two.
If such practices
are followed, Steven Spielberg may fare better than Bill Clinton did when
his reelection victory speech was broadcast all over Latin America...
translated into Spanish, of course. Here's what the humorist Navarrete had
to say about Clinton's speech, in the highly acclaimed newspaper Siglo 21:
"If that translator was doing a good job, we may be assured that the
president of the most ostentatious country on this planet is dyslexic,
tongue-tied and spaced out, and on top of that, demonstrates unmistakable
signs of being mentally retarded."
John J. Pint
The Guadalajara Consortium
English-Spanish, Spanish-English translations of the
Come, Elver, back to the top!